Planting for Food Launch: Setting the Records straight.
Sam Dzata George writes
I am compelled to put out these facts after I received several messages following my discussion on the GHOne TV Breakfast Show.
Yesterday, the President launched the planting for food and jobs programme in Goaso. The programme is to be run primarily on the back of a US$120 million (C$125 million) fund. The President in His SONA, indicated that His government had secured the funds for this programme.
These are the facts;
1. In 2013, the Government of Ghana and the Canadian Government began discussions on the design and modalities for the next phase of budget support programmes for Ghana.
2. The Mahama administration after extensive studies decided that the sure way to food sustainability was to have a specific programme targeted at injecting capital at the District level to support agriculture.
3. The Mahama administration developed a programme named Modernizing Agricultural Productivity to the Local Economy (MAPLE) programme was approved by the Canadian government and a roll out date of 2015 was set.
4. In 2015 however, there was a change in Government in Canada and this led to a delay in the disbursement of funds for the programme as the new Canadian government sought to understand the terms of the arrangement.
5. On the 25th of February 2016, the Canadian High Commission in Accra indicated to the Ghana Ministry of Agriculture that approval had been given for the disbursement of US$120 million (C$125 million) by the Canadian Treasury Board in support of the MAPLE project. A roll out date of March 2017 was then set between the partners to kick start the programme.
It is important to note that any serious student of governance would attest to the fact that no bilateral arrangement of this nature involving such technical detail can be completed in less than 40 days. It was less than 40 days of this administration when the President mentioned this fund in address to Parliament on the State Of the Nation.
I am elated to see yet another baby of President Mahama born. President Mahama’s desire to redefine the economic structure of Ghana by vigorously pursuing an import substitution programme which saw a boost in local rice, sugar, vegetable oil and poultry production led to our first balance of payment surplus in 2016. For the avoidance of any doubt, Ghana earned more in exports receipts than we imported.
I believe that the truth always stands and facts are sacred.
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